Over the last couple of years I have been, from time to time annoyed by a old memory of something I had seen in the cinema when I was a kid. A couple of vague images of jewels, men in red suits and some sort of ray gun - and an even more vague impression that it was a comedy of some sort. Tonight, quite by chance I trip over this:
And suddenly I'm 12 maybe or 13 years old again, in the balcony of a cinema in France, being utterly baffled. I was on an exchange trip. A French kid stayed with our family for two weeks and then I went over there to stay with his family. I think the idea was we would learn some of each other's language and make lifelong friendships that would mean we would never go to war with France again. As plans go it wasn't bad... I don't remember us going to war with France since I went - but I didn't learn much of the language, and I couldn't stand the arrogant little twerp I was paired with. What I did do was get drunk at the local pub, fall in love with a girl called Isabel, and get my hand down her friend's knickers (the friend's name, I'm ashamed to say, I don't remember) - and I also seemed to have gone to the cinema to see a rerun Italian superhero movie. My adolescence went downhill from there.